Archive | June, 2006

Maddur Vade anyone?

27 Jun

Maddur Vade is just not the same anywhere. Not when you compare it to Maddur Tiffanys. I dont know what makes the Vade different, it has the right amount of crispiness, just the right amount of onions. No one can make it like them. I have eaten Maddur Vade at other eateries but havent yet been able to find anyone who can replicate the taste.

Although the current day restaurant is on the Bangalore-Mysore highway, in the old days you needed to go into Maddur Railway station. Train journeys between Bangalore and Mysore were made all the more enjoyable because of a stop at Maddur Station. While driving, Maddur was a cumpolsury stop (it still is today).

Typically trains used to stop at Maddur for 5-6 minutes. Sometimes travelling between Mysore and Bangalore, my cousin would cajole the train guard to stop for an extra five minutes so that he could get Maddur Vade packed for all the city folk in Bangalore.

The platform itself used to be buzzing with activity. Boys’ with idly/vade, Maddur Vade used to run from one end of the train to the other quickly disbursing the packets wrapped in paper and kuchida yele (leaf). Seasoned travellers used to have exact change ready, so all they do is collect the packet and stuff the money in the boy’s pocket. As kids, the pleasure of opening the packet, smelling the food (combined with the paper and the yele) in a moving train was an experience in itself.

I havent been on a train ride between Bangalore and Mysore in a long time. From what I hear this still goes on. However these days we never go into the station when we drive and always eat at the Tiffanys on the main road. Must go in one of these days and check out the Tiffanys at the Maddur Station.

Raju Hotel – Mysooru

20 Jun

Time to head back down memory lane, this time to Iyers Lunch Home in Mysore. Known by various names including Gully Hotel, Raju Hotel (after the owner).

My family's tryst with his Hotel started with my Grandfather who used to eat Khali Dose with potato palya (no irulli). Continued with my father and uncles and of course us. Living in Bangalore, I couldn't wait for the holidays to come. First thing we used to do in Mysore was to go and eat at Gully (so much for priorities).

Raju, the genial owner used to greet everyone that came through the door. He was bald but used to color his pate black (as if it fooled us 🙂 ). He would always ask about the family. If my uncles came with us, they would generally exchange notes on who got married, who died, latest scandals (compared to today, scandals those days were pretty mild to say the least).

 Fare was pretty simple, Idly, Vade, Khali Dose, and Bisi Bele Bhaath (pretty strange for morning breakfast). I dont remember right but Masale Dose was served only in the evening. But for us the main attraction was Set Dose. A set consisted of 4 doses' (you could order half a set as well) with benne. Chutney would then be poured on top.

To date, I have NOT eaten set dose that is on par with Gully. Last time I ate there was in 1998. Raju passed away after that and the place apparently closed down.

People from Mysore tell me that there is a "replacement" for Raju Hotel in Mysore. Someone who makes good set dose. But Raju/Gully/Iyers will always be special.

Brahmins Coffee Bar – Single Idly, Unlimited Chutney

16 Jun

The place must be about 20 feet long and less than 10 feet wide. The fare, Idly, Vade, Kharabhath, Kesaribhath, and Coffee. That is it !!

Brahmins as it is known among locals has been around for ages. In fact Radhakrishna Adiga who runs the place now has been behind the counter ever since he grew taller than the counter. What hits you at Brahmins is the simplicity of their menu. Over the years restaurants have sprung up all around offering all kinds of alternatives. Brahmins has stuck to its traditional “5 item” offering.

The idly comes with watery chutney all over it. There is no sambar. The Kharabhath has just the right amount of “stickiness” (if thats the term that can be used)… and for those of us who want to ignore diet restrictions there is benne (butter) that he will put on the idlies for a small extra charge. Coffee is still served piping hot in a glass tumbler. You have to have Kharabhath and cofee together (makes a great combination).

For me Brahmins is a throwback to the old times, starting with when we were in high school, through college and of course the present. Only the prices have changed. Used to be 10 paisa for an idly in 1976… unlimited chutney of course.

Its only recently that Brahmins introduced a token system. Until then Radhi would look at you and tell you exactly what you ate and how much you owed… regardless of how crowded the place was he could reel off what each party had. Sources tell me that they introduced the token system when a few enterprising souls started disappearing without paying their bills.

Gadipar (exile) for Rowdies

12 Jun

How stupid can the police get? Well apparently there is no limit.

Today's Vijay Times carries a news story about how the police are considering sending rowdies on exile in order to "punish" them. Sending them on exile will apparently prevent them from committing crimes.

Questions:

1. Where will they go? Is there some secret island that we are going to send these guys to?

2. If Dawood Ibrahim can control his empire from Dubai (or where ever he is), won't these guys do the same? Remember everyone has access to mobile phones.

Note to the City Police Commissioner: Send the Politicians on Exile. Rowdies will go with them.

Mayor Opposed to Paid Parking in Bangalore

12 Jun

Story is that the Mayor of Bangalore (a totally irrelavent post) is opposed to introducing parking fees for cars and motorcycles because of the "burden" it will induce on the "common man".

Madam mayor… if the guy is driving a motorcycle or a car.. HE IS NOT A COMMON MAN !!! He can afford to pay the 5 rupees.

I think the parking fee was taken out because a section of the corporators were not getting their "dues" (as in gimbla). It has absolutely nothing to do with the common man..

Just like the BMIC !!! Its all POLITICAL !!

Kanakambra Mallige Maggu

7 Jun

Kanakambra Mallige Maggu

Cut back to the early/mid 70's to Jayanagar 4th Block in Bangalore. There was a playground where the shopping complex stands today. Traffic around the playground was 2 way and all around were nice quiet middle class housing colonies.

One of my most vivid memories was this guy who sold flowers. He was always dressed in a White "kacche" panche and jubba and wore a Nehru topi. He would walk from street to street yelling "Kanakambra Mallige Maggu".

He would be carrying his bags in one hand and in his other hand he would carry newspapers both English and Kannada. On every road he'd stop at a particular point, and start reading the newspaper aloud and commenting on each headline. Soon the entire neighbourhood (including the kids) would gather around him and soon a lively discussion would follow between him and the other "sages".

A typical session would last around an hour. His English was typical colloquial style. Grammar unheard of. His speeches on Indira Gandhi were most memorable given the fact that he would use the choicest words of abuse whenever her name was mentioned. Also dangerous given the fact that those were emergency days. At other times, we used to find him perched on top of the traffic circle next to the bemused traffic cop and reading out news from there. Scooters and cyclists would be standing around listening to him (you could do that in those days, there wasn't too much traffic).

We kids used to find him a great source of entertainment. We used to find his English funny and never appreciated his tirades on the politicians and constantly teased and imitated him. Occasionaly the guy would lose his temper and chase us around the place but more often than not he was good humored about the whole thing. It required a lot of guts (and some amount of madness) to do what we did.

Never did find out what happened to him, he disappeared all of a sudden. Rumour had it that he was beaten up badly during the emergency, another rumor had him standing for elections in Chikkamagalur against Indira Gandhi. The last I remember of him was announcing the election results in 1977 when Indira Gandhi lost to Raj Narain.

I still remember his high pitched and squeaky voice calling out "Kanakambra Mallige Maggu".

What the hell happened to Dwaraka Hotel?

7 Jun

For all of us who grew up in South Bangalore, Dwaraka Hotel on Bull Temple Road was the only place where you could get decent "khali" Dose. Imagine my chagrin when I found that they tore down the building about 6 months ago. No one knows what happened. Are they building a new place? Did Dwaraka relocate?

Did the owner of the place finally decide to demolish it and build new offices for the IT sector?

Anyway until I hear different, heres one more "old Bangalore" spot that bit the dust (literaly).